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Allan Naplan appointed by Minnesota Opera; Madison Opera begins national search for new general director

Madison Opera’s Board President announced today that current General Director Allan Naplan has been tapped to be the new President and General Director of Minnesota Opera, the 15th largest opera company in the US. Naplan will continue his duties with Madison Opera through performances of The Threepenny Opera in Feb. 2011, and the company is beginning a nationwide search to fill his position.

“We are thrilled for Allan, as this is an amazing opportunity for one of the youngest leaders of an opera company in this country,” said Fran Klos, Board President. Klos continued, “Allan has provided wonderful creativity and energy to our company, and he has helped us reach the highest levels of artistic excellence. It is an honor to Madison Opera that Allan has been offered this prestigious position. Meanwhile, with a strong board of trustees and a multi-year artistic and financial plan, the company’s continued success in ensured. Because of Allan’s leadership, our wonderful audiences, and our generous donors, Madison Opera has finished in the black for each of the last five seasons.”

In reflecting on his five years with Madison Opera, Naplan commented, “Madison has been a wonderful city for my family and me, and we leave it with regret. I truly appreciate the opportunities that Madison Opera has given me and the support we have received from the entire community. I have full confidence in the company and am convinced that Madison Opera has a bright future.”

Naplan will assume duties in the Twin Cities on Mar. 1, 2011. Madison Opera has organized a search committee and is beginning a nationwide search for a new general director. Klos stated, “We are already interviewing national search firms and we have put a transition team into place to assure the continuation of our business of producing outstanding opera for our Madison and regional audiences.” Continuing, she stated, “Allan will be deeply missed, but we are confident that with our organizational strength, our talented staff, artistic guidance from Maestro John DeMain, and a wide base of support, we will continue to grow and be a significant force in the Madison community for years to come.”

In September 2010, Madison Opera announced a budget surplus for the closing of the 2009-2010 season and increased subscription sales for the 2010-2011 season. The company opened its 50th anniversary season on Nov. 5 with a sold-out and critically acclaimed production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and will continue its year-long celebration with performances of The Threepenny Opera, La Traviata and the Madison summer tradition, Opera in the Park, which most recently drew a record audience of over 14,000 people to Garner Park.

3 comments on “Allan Naplan appointed by Minnesota Opera; Madison Opera begins national search for new general director

Opera Guy, you will be missed.

Alan, thanks for all that you have done for opera in Madison.

Dear Allan,
Many many thanks for all you have done for Madison Opera in just five eventful years:
You have helped consolidate the original strengths of the organization and assembled a truly fine staff who work harmoniously together – it seems that helping bring more and and better opera to Madison has been a joyful experience for all concerned!
Many thanks for all that verve – you have brought enthusiasm coupled with experience and practical vision at each step forward, and the journey has been a pleasure to see.

As one who enjoys being in St Paul for Minnesota Opera at the Ordway, I look forward to seeing what you'll be doing there in the future. All best wishes for continued successes!
Sincerely,
Dan Shea

As a subscriber to the Minnesota Opera, I'm thrilled! I've attended three operas in the past few years at Madison Opera (Madison is my home town) and I feel that the two companies share fundamental strengths – balanced seasons, solid and up-and-coming talent, and creative productions. I'm impressed with what I know about Alan's contributions to Madison Opera and look forward to his leadership up here in the Twin Cities. MN Opera keeps getting better every year and that can only continue!

Comments are closed.


Keely Futterer

Rosina, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Dover, AR
Madison Opera Debut: Léontine, The Anonymous Lover (2024)

Recently: Musetta, La Bohème; Armida, Rinaldo; Charlene, Service Provider; Jazz Trio, Trouble in Tahiti (Minnesota Opera);
Armida, Rinaldo; Vanderdendur, Candide; Angostura, Tenor Overboard (Glimmerglass Festival);
Rodelinda, Rodelinda (Hudson Hall); Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (Opera Memphis);
Marie, The Daughter of the Regiment (Opera Saratoga)

Upcoming: Anna Sørenson, Silent Night (Wolf Trap Opera); Marcellina, Leonora (Chicago Opera Theater);
Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte (Virginia Opera)


Weston Hurt

Baritone, Opera in the Park

Hometown: Spring, TX
Madison Opera Debut: Germont, La Traviata (2019)

Recently: Sharpless, Madama Butterfly (Houston Grand Opera, New Orleans Opera);
Britten's War Requiem (Opera Roanoke); Scarpia, Tosca (Arizona Opera);
Germont, La Traviata (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Nabucco, Nabucco (Seattle Opera)

Upcoming: Rigoletto, Rigoletto (English National Opera)

Joshua Sanders

Tenor, Opera in the Park

Hometown: Plain, WI
Madison Opera Debut: Giuseppe, La Traviata (2011)
Also at MO: Tobias Ragg, Sweeney Todd; Inmate, Dead Man Walking; Ensemble, Acis and Galatea

Recently: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville; Romeo, Romeo and Juliet (Opera San José);
Tamino, The Magic Flute (Nashville Opera); Sam Clay, The Amazing Adventures of
Kavalier & Clay
workshop (Metropolitan Opera)

Upcoming:  Victorin, Die tote Stadt (Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Sachie Ueshima, wearing black in front of a stone staircase.
Sachie Ueshima

Zerlina, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Wakayama City, Japan
Madison Opera Debut
Former Madison Opera Studio Artist

Recently: Cio-Cio-San, Madama Butterfly (Virginia Opera); Violetta, La Traviata;
Krystyna Zywulska, Two Remain (UW-Madison)

Upcoming: Cio-Cio-San, Madama Butterfly (Kentucky Opera)


David Walton

Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Twin Cities, MN
Madison Opera Debut: Opera in the Park 2017
Also at MO: Belmonte, The Abduction from the Seraglio

Recently: Ferrando, Così fan tutte (Princeton Festival); Ramiro, La Cenerentola (Toledo Opera);
Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (North Carolina Opera);
Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance (Opera San Antonio); Filippo, Deceit Outwitted (Sarasota Opera)

Upcoming: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (Minnesota Opera); Candide, Candide (South Florida Symphony);
Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (Livermore Valley Opera)

Emily Fons

Mezzo-soprano, Opera in the Park
Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Madison Opera Debut: Opera in the Park 2012
Also at MO: Rosina, The Barber of Seville

Recently: Nicklausse, The Tales of Hoffmann (Palm Beach Opera);
Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Cincinnati Opera, Santa Fe Opera);
Woman, Ghosts (San Diego Opera); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Canadian Opera Company);
Hansel, Hansel and Gretel (New Orleans Opera)

Upcoming: Princess Irene, Tamerlano (Haymarket Opera)


Ryan Nash

Madison Opera Debut
Madison Opera Studio Artist
Recently: Gherardo, Gianni Schicchi (American Gothic Performing Arts Festival); Frederic, The Pirates of Penzance (Madison Savoyards);
Mercurio, La Calisto; Gastone, La Traviata; Albert Herring, Albert Herring (UW Madison Opera);
Rinuccio, Gianni Schicchi (La Musica Lirica USA); Alfred, Die Fledermaus; Monostatos, The Magic Flute (UMass Opera)

Upcoming: Tamino, The Magic Flute (Opera for the Young)


John DeMain

Conductor: Opera in the Park, The Barber of Seville, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Youngstown, OH
Madison Opera Debut: The Magic Flute (1995)
Recently at MO: Candide, Tosca, Trouble in Tahiti / The Seven Deadly Sins, Salome


Rebecca Herman

Stage Director, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Austin, TX
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: Carmen (Austin Opera); Don Giovanni (Opera Colorado, Cincinnati Opera);
Un Cuento de Luces y Sonmbras
(LOLA); La Bohème (Glimmerglass Opera);
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Utah Opera, Calgary Opera)

Upcoming: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Washington National Opera)


Fenlon Lamb

Stage Director, Don Giovanni

Madison Opera Debut: La Traviata (2019)
Recently at MO: Lucia di Lammermoor

Recently: La Fanciulla del West (Central City Opera); The Elixir of Love, Così fan tutte (Palm Beach Opera);
The Marriage of Figaro
(Portland Opera); Carmen (Opera Santa Barbara);
Charlie Parker's Yardbird (Dayton Opera); La Bohème (New Orleans Opera); Mozart and Salieri (Opera San Jose)


Kamna Gupta

Conductor, María de Buenos Aires

Hometown: St. Genis-de-Puilly, France
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: The Pearl Fishers (Vancouver Opera); In Our Daughter's Eyes (LA Opera / BMP);
Number Our Days (Perelman Performing Arts Center); Glory Denied (Cleveland Institute of Music);
Rocking Horse Winner (Tapestry Opera); The Rip Van Winkles (Glimmerglass Festival)

Upcoming: Ruinous Gods (Spoleto Festival USA)


Frances Rabalais

Stage Director, María de Buenos Aires

Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Madison Opera Debut: Tosca (2023)

Recently: Macbeth (Resonance Works); Hansel and Gretel (Opera Birmingham);
The Magic Flute (North Carolina Opera); The Barber of Seville (Pensacola Opera)


Charles Eaton

Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Storrs, CT
Madison Opera Debut: Moralès, Carmen (2017)
Recently at MO: Count Malcolm, A Little Night Music

Recently: Brother, The Seven Deadly Sins (Wolf Trap Opera); Schaunard, La Bohème;
Sam, Trouble in Tahiti; Masetto, Don Giovanni; Argante, Rinaldo (Minnesota Opera);
Fedorov, The Christmas Spider (Opéra Louisiane, Marble City Opera);
English Ambassador, The Ghosts of Versailles (Royal Opera Versailles);
Marcello, La Bohème (Imperial Symphony Orchestra)

Upcoming: Ponchel, Silent Night (Wolf Trap Opera); Mercutio, Romeo & Juliet (Minnesota Opera);
Silvio, Pagliacci (Pensacola Opera)


Jeremiah Sanders

Leporello, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Marian, IN
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: Marcello, La Bohème; Beau, Service Provider; Jazz Trio, Trouble in Tahiti;
Hortensius, The Daughter of the Regiment; Mago, Rinaldo;
Abilenes's Father / Bryce's Father, Edward Tulane (Minnesota Opera);
Colline, La Bohème (Lyric Opera of the North); Lackey, Ariadne auf Naxos (Lakes Area Music Festival);
Charlie, Three Decembers (South Bend Lyric Opera); The Villains, The Tales of Hoffmann (Union Avenue Opera)


Ashraf Sewailam

The Commendatore, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Cairo, Egypt / San Francisco, CA
Madison Opera Debut:
Captain, Florencia en el Amazonas (2018)

Recently: Dr. Bartolo, The Barber of Seville (Des Moines Metro Opera, Seattle Opera);
Dr. Bartolo, The Marriage of Figaro (New Orleans Opera); Sparafucile, Rigoletto (Opera San Jose);
Giove, La Calisto (Opera Memphis)

Upcoming: Dr. Bartolo, The Barber of Seville (Lyric Opera of Kansas City);
Dulcamara, The Elixir of Love (New Orleans Opera)


Andrew Stenson

Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Rochester, MN
Madison Opera Debut: Opera in the Park 2021

Recently: Pong, Turandot (Metropolitan Opera); Bill, Flight; The Steersman, The Flying Dutchman (Dallas Opera);
Pang, Turandot (Houston Grand Opera); Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (Seattle Opera);
Nemorino, The Elixir of Love (Seattle Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florentine Opera);
Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (Opera Colorado, Garsington Opera);
Nikolaus Sprink, Silent Night; Tamino, The Magic Flute (Utah Opera);
Fadinard, The Italian Straw Hat (Minnesota Opera); Danny Chen, An American Soldier (Opera Theatre of St. Louis)

Headshot of Hailey Cohen
Hailey Cohen

Berta, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Edgemont, NY
Madison Opera Debut: Dorothée, The Anonymous Lover (2024)
Also with MO: Paquette, Candide
Madison Opera Studio Artist

Recently: Zita, Gianni Schicchi (Finger Lakes Opera); Hattie, American Gothical (Cedar Rapids Opera);
Sally, The Boy Who Wanted to be a Robot; K., Would You Eat Me? (Thompson Street Opera)


Lifan Deng

Fiorello, The Barber of Seville
Masetto, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Shenzen, China
Madison Opera Debut
Madison Opera Studio Artist

Recently: Voce 2, Il Nostro Posto nel Mondo (Thompson Street Opera Company);
The Police Agent / Mr. Kofner, The Consul (Third Eye Ensemble);
Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte; Kaiser Overall, Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Northwestern Opera Theater);
Old Adam Goodheart, Ruddigore; Carpenter's Mate, H.M.S. Pinafore (The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company);
Olin Brett, The Music Man (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre)

Upcoming: Papageno, The Magic Flute (Opera for the Young)


Laureano Quant

El Payador, María de Buenos Aires

Hometown: Barranquilla, Colombia
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: Schaunard, La Bohème (Wolf Trap Opera); Foreman, Jenufa; Dancaïre, Carmen;
Count of Lerma, Don Carlo (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Escamillo, Le tragedie de Carmen;
Guglielmo, Così fan tutte (The Opera Next Door); Betto, Gianni Schicchi (Ópera de Colombia);
Demetrius, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Captain / Ragotsky, Candide (Orquestra Filarmónica de Bogotà)

Upcoming: Belcore, The Elixir of Love (New Orleans Opera);
Bill, Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahgonny (Staatsoper Stuttgart)


Kelly Guerra

María, María de Buenos Aires

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: María, María de Buenos Aires (Kentucky Opera); Lupita, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna;
Carlotta de Obragón, Zorro (Opera Santa Barbara); Renata, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (West Edge Opera);
Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Princeton Festival); Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Scalia/Ginsburg (Chautauqua Opera);
Luisa Fernanda, Luisa Fernanda (Opera Hispánica, Opera Williamsburg)

Upcoming: Una Niña, Ainadamar (Metropolitan Opera); Jo, Little Women (Fort Worth Opera);
Isabella, L'Italiana in Algeri (Opera in the Heights); Mrs. Fox, Fantastic Mr. Fox (Opera Omaha)


Alex Taylor

Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: Beloit, WI
Madison Opera Debut: Mother, The Seven Deadly Sins (2023)

Recently: Green Shirt Guy, Mel Rides the Bus Alone (Pittsburgh Opera);
Sarastro, The Magic Flute; Dr. Bartolo, The Marriage of Figaro (Carnegie Mellon University)


Levi Hernandez

Dr. Bartolo, The Barber of Seville

Hometown: El Paso, TX
Madison Opera Debut: Papageno, The Magic Flute (2006)
Recent at MO: Alvaro, Florencia en el Amazonas; Opera in the Park 2018

Recently: Diego Rivera, El Último Sueño de Frida y Diego (Opera Omaha);
Tonio, Pagliacci (Hawaii Opera Theatre); Dandini, La Cenerentola (Boston Lyric Opera);
Peter, Hansel and Gretel (Opera San Antonio); Lescaut, Manon Lescaut (North Carolina Opera)

Upcoming: Benoit/Alcindoro, La Bohème (Lyric Opera of Chicago);
Alvaro, Florencia en el Amazonas (North Carolina Opera)


Benjamin Taylor

Figaro, The Barber of Seville

Madison Opera Debut: Silvio, Pagliacci (2018)

Recently: Bello, La Fanciulla del West (Bayerische Staatsoper); Moralès, Carmen (Metropolitan Opera);
Guglielmo, Così fan tutte (Princeton Symphony); Jan Nyman, Breaking the Waves (Detroit Opera);
Silvio, Pagliacci (Austin Opera)

Upcoming: Marcello, La Bohème (Arizona Opera); Jake, Porgy and Bess (Washington National Opera);
Schaunard, La Bohème (Charleston Opera Theatre)


Katerina Burton

Soprano, Opera in the Park
Donna Anna, Don Giovanni

Hometown: Ocean City, MD
Madison Opera Debut

Recently: Mimì, La Bohème (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis); JFK: The Last Speech
(National Symphony Orchestra); Britten’s War Requiem (Strathmore Music Center);
Russian Chamber Art Society; Postclassical Ensemble Concert (The Kennedy Center); Girlfriend 2, Blue;
Micaëla, Carmen (Washington National Opera); Alice Ford, Falstaff (Aspen Music Festival);
Verna/Young Lovely/Evelyn, Fire Shut Up in My Bones (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)