The New York Opera Society (NYOS) develops new audiences for opera by commissioning, creating, and funding exemplary productions.
To that end, NYOS serves as a conduit to the public by disseminating important messages, musical inspiration, and seminal artistic performances via partnerships with major performance venues, corporations, nonprofits and governments to present the work of our artists.
In its most recent season, NYOS commissioned and co-presented the world premiere of Upon this Handful of Earth with Sacred Music in a Sacred Space in NYC and a highly lauded excerpted world premiered staged reading of Letters from Ruth at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; both works by Gisle Kverndokk and Aksel-Otto Bull. NYOS has also commissioned the first operatic version of Tres Sombreros de Copa by Ricardo Llorca which premiered in Brazil and will have its Spanish premiere at Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid in November 2019. Previously, NYOS has produced the Lincoln Center and United States premiere of its contemporary Spanish opera, Las Horas Vacias, by Guggenheim fellow and Juilliard faculty member Ricardo Llorca; three tours and world premieres of NYOS’ commissions from Gisle Kverndokk’s and Wiik’s Max & Moritz: A Cartoon Opera in Seven Pranks and Supersize Girl. Other notable NYOS evenings have taken place at the National Gallery of Art, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Embassy of Italy, New York’s World Financial Center, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and the United Nations. Audiences have included the Royal Couple of Norway, the Undersecretary of Defense in Washington, D.C., Queen Sofia of Spain (at a gala in her honor), Barbara Walters, Stanley Tucci/Martin Scorsese (at a gala in their honor), and nearly every European and South American Consulate. NYOS has been favorably featured in The Washington Post, on PBS, in a feature article in The Wall Street Journal, and Opera News.
NYOS is led by Executive Director Jennifer Cho and a dedicated Board of Directors chaired by philanthropist, Lesley Silvester.
The New York Opera Society welcomes your participation in a variety of ways.
- Enroll in our international Choral and Tours Programs or audition to perform in one of our productions alongside great professionals
- Take part in our upcoming Master Class Series as a lecturer or guest.
- Donate archival materials to the Interdisciplinary Arts Archives. (Technological Equipment, Scores, Libretti, Costumes, Set Pieces)
- Make a financial gift to support educational outreach in underserved communities, our new Distinguished Diversity Leader in the Arts Series, visionary set design, new commissions of contemporary composers, production development, individual performers and future endeavors.
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Jennifer Cho is the founder and Executive Director of the New York Opera Society. Since 2005 she has transformed a small start-up company into a flourishing concern. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a B.A. in English Literature and Culture with distinction from Northwestern University. She also has a Piano Performance Certificate from the Trinity Music College of London. Since completing her studies, she has received numerous awards for her work in music including the following, among others: major grants from the Lilly Foundation, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Argosy Foundation Center for Contemporary Music. As a soloist, Jennifer has performed extensively in Germany, France, Sweden, Italy and the United States in venues such as the Neue Galerie, the Cornell Club, the Liederkranz Foundation, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, Columbia University’s Rabi-Warner Concert Series, Northwestern University, the Cathedrale Saint-Etienne de Toulouse. She has played many operatic roles including The Female Chorus, Musetta, Nanetta, Zerlina, Aennchen, Despina, Norina and Susanna in notable venues such as the Staatstheater Darmstadt in Germany, the Municipal Theater of Castres in France and Merkin Hall in New York City. Jennifer is highly conversant in German, French, Italian, Spanish and English.
“…I consider him an excellent symphonic and Opera conductor…”
“…A conductor of great personality… “
The St. Peterbsurg Times
ALEXIS SORIANO MONSTAVICIUS Alexis Soriano is one of the most outstanding Spanish conductors of his generation. He was invited and personally selected by Valery Gergiev to participate as a conductor in Maestro Gergiev’s Master Class and film, “The Master and his Pupil”. Immediately after the film’s release, Soriano was offered work at the Mariinsky Theater where he made his debut with “Le Nozze di Figaro”. Since 2010, he has been the Principal conductor of the INSO-Lviv State Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine) playing in Lviv Philharmonic Hall.
Soriano was a pupil of Ilya Musin at the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory in Saint Petersburg, where he served as principal associate conductor of The Hermitage Orchestra for ten years. He is currently the Artistic Director of The Festival of “Spanish Evenings” in Saint Petersburg.
As a symphonic conductor, he has conducted prominent orchestras around the world. He made his debut in St.Petersburg’s Philharmonic Hall conducting the Academic Symphony in Mahler Symphony nº 1 and since then has become an official guest conductor of the Philharmonia. He has also conducted the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, the Prague Symphony, the Slovakian Philharmonic, the Lithuanian National Symphony, the Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, the Tapiola Sinfonietta (Finland), the Oulu Symphony Orchestra (Finland), the English Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony orchestra “Claudio Santoro of the Brasilia National Theater, Kapella of St.Petersburg, the Orchestra of the Great Theater of Poznan, Moscow Virtuosi, the Hermitage Orchestra, the Danubia Zenekar from Hungary, the Dnepropetrovsk Symphony, the National Symphony of Macedonia, Saint Cristophorus of Vilnius, the Lviv Symphony, the Sinfonica di Grosseto, the Regionale del Lazio, among others, and the majority of Spanish Orchestras.
He has appeared at Teatro Real (Madrid), Teatro Colón, Palau de Valencia, Liceo de Barcelona, Auditorio de Tenerife, Rimsky Korsakov Theater, Sankt Peterburg Opera, Hermitage Theater of Saint Petersburg, conducting operas such as “Faust”, “Boris Godunov”, “Fille du Régiment”, “Cosi fan Tutte”,“Madam Butterfly”,“Eugene Oneguin”, “Falstaff”, “Glaura y Cariolano”, “La Scala di Seta”, “L’Arbore di Diana”,”Bastian und Bastienne”. His repertoire includes contemporary music and recordings of the works of important composers as well as the first recording of The Opera by Jose Lidon from 1792, “Glaura y Cariolano”. He has conducted prèmieres of Operas by Wilfried Jünge, Agustin Castilla-Ávila, and Ricardo Llorca.
Recently he has been nominated as one of the “100 Spaniards” which comprises a peer reviewed group of outstanding Spanish artists, scientists and entrepreneurs who’ve succeeded in their careers abroad and have helped to promote the brand of “Spain”.
Lesley Silvester served as an Executive Vice President of Human Resources & Development at Assurant Inc. from January 2001 to July 1, 2009. From 1996 to 1999, she served as Director of Group Management Development for the Fortis Group in Brussels. Lesley’s professional career spans more than two and a half decades in the insurance industry in human resources management, organization development and strategy. Her experience includes 15 years with different parts of Assurant Inc. in the United States and with Fortis in Europe, focusing on world-wide senior management development, company learning, human resources strategy and post-merger integration. She has been a Director of Union Security Insurance Company since 2001. She serves as a Director of Union Security Life Insurance Company. Lesley is a Graduate Member of the Institute of Personnel Management in the United Kingdom and holds both her F.L.M.I. and American Compensation Association Certification.
Eric Brandon Beck grew up in DeKalb and Evanston, Illinois, where he earned a B.A. in economics from Northwestern University. He also earned an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business at the behest of Deutsche Bank’s then CEO, Dr. Rolf Breuer. Eric began his career in private client wealth management in 1996 at Merrill Lynch in Chicago. He later became an officer at Deutsche Bank and spent several years working in Frankfurt, Germany, before moving to their New York office in 2003. Eric joined UBS Financial Services, Inc. in 2004. In addition to his role as Account Vice President at UBS Financial Services in NYC, he serves as the Branch Office Annuity Coordinator for the Park Avenue office. He was awarded a Certified Financial Planner designation in 2007. Eric has been involved with the NYOS since its inception. He resides in the Washington D.C. metro area and enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and son.
Mick Jochem Beekhuizen is the Chief Financial Officer for the Education Management Corporation headquartered in Pittsburgh, P.A. Prior to this, he served as a Managing Director for Goldman Sachs in New York. Prior to joining the company’s New York office in August 2004, he worked for Goldman Sachs’ Frankfurt office as a financial advisor in the Investment Banking division. Mick grew up in the Netherlands and is fluent in Dutch, English and German. He holds an M.S. degree from the University of Twente, the Netherlands. He is an avid cyclist, cineaste and has a passion for the performing arts.
Edward Boyer was born in Mexico, grew up in Cuba and lives in New York City. Since 1987, he has been President of Edward Boyer Associates, Inc., a firm that straddles the worlds of business and the arts, providing consulting and coaching services to individual clients, groups, global corporations and not-for-profit institutions. The Coaching practice entails executive and leadership coaching for professional and personal development with a specialization in communication, creativity, innovativeness and diversity/inclusion. The Fine Art Advisory practice for institutions and high net worth individuals includes collection management, curatorial services and the design and implementation of strategies for acquiring, selling and investing in works of fine art. Since 1993 the firm has acquired, sold and managed about 5000 works of fine art with an estimated fair market value of $300 million. The Management Consulting practice focuses on the evaluation and/or development of marketing communications and public relations strategies. Clients include American Express, Burlington-Northern, Citigroup, Deloitte Touche, Dentsu, IBM, Istituto Mobiliare Italiano, Lehman Brothers, Martha Graham Dance Company, NYNEX, Salomon Brothers and Toyota, among others. Prior to 1987, Edward worked as a writer for Fortune Magazine, focusing on economic forecasts and middle-of-the-book articles about international trade and finance, public policy and corporate performance. Prior to that, in his first career out of graduate school, Edward worked as an Account Executive in the International Division of Chemical Bank (now J.P. Morgan Chase), servicing the U.S. subsidiaries of Japanese multinationals and developing a strategic marketing plan for expanding the bank’s business in Latin America. Edward has a B.A. in European History and Literature from Columbia University in New York and completed coursework for a PhD in Comparative Modernization at Princeton University and the University of Tokyo. Edward speaks several languages fluently including English, Spanish, French, Hungarian and Japanese. He has served on the boards of the Big Apple Circus, Art Party, Atlantic Theater Company, C.G. Jung Foundation and the Keidanren’s Keizai Koho Center.
Anh-Tuyet Nguyen (a.k.a. A.T.), a native of Vietnam who now resides in New York, left her country with her parents and six younger siblings at age 19, three days before Saigon fell to the Communists. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire with a major in Mathematics and a minor in French. She then obtained an M.A. in International Management from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. A.T. worked for Fortis, Inc. (now Assurant, Inc.) for 18 years in a variety of roles. Among the many highlights of her career was a three-year assignment as the first American to be sent to then corporate headquarters in the Netherlands to promote cross-cultural corporate synergies. Her last assignment was as Information Technology Officer and entailed managing cross-strategic business unit technology projects. A.T. is fluent in several languages including English, Vietnamese, Dutch and French. A great lover of the performing arts, she describes herself as a theater junkie. She is also passionate about traveling, cooking, dancing and cross-cultural philanthropy. When she first lived in New York, she served on the Board of Trustees of the Westfield Symphony Orchestra, an organization in whose annual fund raising efforts she and her husband Rob continue to be involved. A.T. is currently on the Board of Directors of the Joyce Theater and on the Steering Committee of the United Way chapter of New York’s Women United in Philanthropy.
RICARDO LLORCA is one of the most promising talents to emerge from the new generation of contemporary Spanish-American composers. Llorca was born in 1962 in Alicante, a city located in the southeastern coastal region of Spain that has been the birthplace of many great musicians –Oscar Esplá, Ruperto Chapi, José Iturbi, López Chavarri, Martín y Soler, Joaquín Rodrigo, Tarrega, etc. He later moved to Madrid, where he studied at that city’s Royal Conservatory under Román Alis and attended the most theoretically advanced courses at the Festival de Granada with Luigi Nono, Carmelo Bernaola, and Luis de Pablo. After graduating in 1988, Llorca traveled to New York in order to continue his studies at the Juilliard School, where he has worked with composers David Diamond and John Corigliano. Upon completing his studies, Llorca assumed a faculty position at Juilliard, and continues to teach there today. Llorca combines his teaching responsibilities at Juilliard with his work as a composer, which has garnered him the Richard Rogers Scholarship (1992), the Virgen de la Almudena Award (1999), and the John Simon Guggenheim Award (2001). Ricardo Llorca is the composer-in-residence for the New York-based dance company “Sensedance”. Llorca is currently teaching at The Juillliard School and at The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute in New York City. Llorca is a grant recipient of “The Argosy Foundation” and “Met-Life/Meet the Composer 2008”.
FABIANA BRAVO (born in 1969), is an acclaimed Argentine operatic soprano, who has achieved international success both through her interpretation of concert literature and in her powerful portrayals of operatic heroines. Fabiana Bravo was born in Guaymallén Department, outside Mendoza, Argentina, to a family of modest means. She moved to Buenos Aires at age 22, and actively sought parts in the city’s vibrant theatre scene. She appeared in José Cibrián’s Drácula, and Peter MacFarlane’s Broadway follies and Broadway II, among other productions. He talent was noticed by singer Valeria Lynch, who hired Bravo and who, in 1995 introduced her to Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Pavarotti included Bravo in an operatic talent contest, which she won, and which led to her role with Pavarotti as Lucia di Lammermoor at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. She would go on to portray Tosca, Countess Almaviva, Leonora, Giorgetta, and Madama Butterfly in some of the world’s most renowned houses. In 1999, she was named Argentina’s Woman of the Year for her remarkable contributions to the arts. After an early career in musical theatre, she was introduced to the famous singer Luciano Pavarotti. She won his international competition, and also received numerous awards as a Plácido Domingo Operalia Finalist, Opera Index winner and Met Council Winner of the Regional Finalist Competition. She was added to the Metropolitan Opera Roster in the 2001/2002 season, and continues to perform in New York, Washington, D.C, San Francisco, and Chicago with regularity. In recent years, Bravo has sung the Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (1997), Mimi in La Bohème (1998), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (1999) and the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos (2002), all in opera productions of Washington D.C’s Summer Opera Theatre Company. She also sings with Virginia Opera, where her performance of Donna Anna brought her recognition as a much sought-after artist. It was a personally tailored full scholarship program at The Catholic University of America that brought Fabiana Bravo from Argentina to Washington DC. From there she also studied interpretation at the Renata Scotto Institute in Savona, Italy, and verdian repertoire at the Verdi Opera Studio in Parma, Italy. Finally, she accepted a one year scholarship program to study in Voghera, Italy, at the Academy of Vocal Arts. Fabiana Bravo met with and performed for the United States Supreme Court in 1999, and has brought recognition of her hometown of Mendoza, through a series of very popular South American Recitals. She is now a renowned name in the international opera world, and performs in concert and opera throughout the world. Ms. Bravo currently resides in Washington, DC and Mendoza, Argentina.
GISLE KVERNDOKK (born 3 February 1967) studied composition with Olav Anton Thommessen, Lasse Thoresen and Alfred Janson at The Norwegian State Academy of Music, where he received his Master’s degree in 1994, and with John Corigliano and David Diamond at The Juilliard School in New York. In 1994 he attended the BMI Earl Hagen Film Scoring Workshop in Hollywood. At the age of 15 he wrote a radio opera commissioned by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. The Norwegian State Academy of Music premiered his first full-scale opera The Falcon Tower in 1990. His next opera George’s Marvellous Medicine was premiered by The Kristiansund Opera in 1995, and was awarded Work of the Year by The Norwegian Composers Society. It has since then been produced by The Norwegian Opera in Oslo, Opera Vest in Bergen, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Ringsakeroperaen and was presented at The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany 1997. The Norwegian Broadcasting Company has also produced it as a radio production. All the major orchestras in Norway have performed his works, among them The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. In the 1999-2000 season he was “Composer of the year” with The Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. His Selenefor orchestra was among the winners of The Juilliard Composers Competition 1992, and Initiation for violin and orchestra won 1. prize in the competition for composers under 30 years in The 1993 Paris ROSTRUM. He has written musicals for children, music for several theatre plays, revues and ballets. He has a regular collaboration with librettist Øystein Wiik, and their first musical Sophie’s World was premiered at the Schlossfestspiele Ettlingen, Germany, in 1998. The Norwegian premiere was in Oslo 1999, in Hanger 4 at Fornebu, in a theatre specially built for the occasion. Their next musical, Vincent had its world premiere in Ettlingen, Germany, in June 2001. In December 2002 Dangerous Liaisons had its world premiere at Theater Pforzheim, Germany, and the musical Homeless was premiered at The Norwegian Theatre, Oslo, October 2003. Theater Erfurt premiered the musical Martin L. at The Domstufen Festspiele in 2008. This work was nominated for The Nordic Music Prize. Wiik and Kverndokk’s opera Around the world in 80 days was commissioned for the opening of the new opera house in Oslo and was premiered in May 2010. Their children’s opera Max and Moritz was commissioned by The New York Opera Society and had its world premiere in October 2010 in Washington DC. Bokken Lasson – stumbling success, a radio opera with libretto by Ivar Tindberg and commissioned by The Norwegian State Broadcasting Company, won the Prix Italia in 2000. Their next collaboration, the opera The fourth Watch of the Night was premiered at The Norwegian National Opera in November 2005, and was awarded the Edvard Prize in 2006. Kverndokk has also written the music for the Danish film, Chinaman, produced by Fine & Mellow in 2005. Kverndokk has an extensive catalog of church music, written for and premiered by the leading church music ensembles in Norway; Te Deum (2009) for The Norwegian Soloists Choir, Mass (2007) for The Nordic Voices, Nidarosmesse (2010) for The Nidaros Cathedral Choir and the church play Sommerens Maria (2011) written in collaboration with librettist Eyvind Skeie, for the Church Choir School in Nøtterøy. Gisle Kverndokk has worked extensively as a musician and has been music director of several music theatre productions in Norway, Germany, The USA and Canada. He was awarded Anders Jahre’s Cultural Prize for Young Artists and Wilhelm Hansen’s Legacy in 1997. In 1999 he received The Lily Boulanger Memorial Fund from Boston University.
Born in Madrid, Spain, ROSA TORRES-PARDO started her musical studies at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid where she graduated with the highest Honors. In Madrid she worked with Joaquín Soriano and Gloria Olalla, and later with Maria Curzio in London, Adèle Marcus at the Juilliard School in New York and Hans Graf in Vienna. Among other prizes, in 1987 she was awarded the Masterplayers International Piano Competition in Lugano, Switzerland. Ms. Torres-Pardo plays regularly as a soloist with Spanish and foreign Orchestras under the baton of conductors such as Yuri Termikanov,Plácido Domingo, M Francis, E. Plasson, A.Soriano, Víctor Pablo Pérez, Ros Marbá, Pons, Valdés, Ermler, Dutoit, Fedoseev, Fournet, Marzimiuk, Pommier, Spivakov, Vasary, Weise and others. She has appeared in Teatro Real and National Auditorium in Madrid, Wigmore Hall in London, Musik Halle in Hamburg, Konzerthaus in Berlin, National Concert Hall in Dublin, Columns Hall in Moscow, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington, Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Philharmonie Hall in Saint Petersburg, as well as having toured America, Australia, Asia and Europe. Ms. Torres-Pardo has worked with such Orchestras as Los Angeles Philharmonic, The NYOS Orchestra, London Phylarmonic and London Symphony, Hamburg Philharmonic, Berlin Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, Philarmonia Hungarica, Montreal Philharmonic, Moscow Radio and Television Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Armenian Symphony Orchestra, Simphonia Varsovia, Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, Orquesta Minería de México, Bucharest G. Enesco Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, and all the Spanish Orchestras. She also works regularly with chamber groups such as Melos, Assai, Bretón and Janacek quartets , with singers like María Bayo , Ruggero Raimondi and Carlos Alvarez .. Rosa Torres-Pardo has recorded for different recording labels: “Deutsche Grammophon” “Decca”, Naxos”, “Columna Música”, “Glossa”, “Autor”, “Calando”. In 1998 the artist Eduardo Arroyo created the Festival “Encuentros con Rosa Torres-Pardo”, in Robles de Laciana (León, Spain); a Chamber Music Festival where, ever since its foundation, a great number of different kind of artists, both musicians and painters, have taken part. After fifteen editions, it is now considered one of the most interesting Festivals within the Spanish summer scene. In 2004 Ms. Torres-Pardo was awarded, together with Alicia de Larrocha, the “Isaac Albéniz” medal in Camprodón (Gerona, Spain: Birthplace of Albéniz). She has played works by Albéniz in Carlos Saura’s film“Iberia” and has starred in a dcoumentary film about Lorca by Javier Rioyo and in “El Color de la Música” by López Linares. She is currently working intensively on a documentary about Antonio Soler (s.XVIII) which will be released in Tokyo in June 2014.